News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 4, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: March 4, 2013

The Tribune-Star

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Don’t waste money on duplicate checks

I am a national and world-class competitor in handgun shooting, and a certified 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor. As a law-abiding citizen, sport shooter, and defender of my family, I support law enforcement and legitimate concerns in keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable. While the public is generally in favor of a universal background check, my concern is the actual implementation.

What will the process be? Is there a fee? Will a third party licensed dealer be required? Will the background check include the make, model and serial number of the firearm? If so, is this background check about the individual, or actually about gun registration? Does this background check only duplicate another? These questions should be answered before laws are enacted.

As a concealed carry permit holder, I’ve been approved by local and state police after their background checks, which includes full-set fingerprinting. Many of my shooting friends and competitors have undergone similar state approval. Why would we need to waste taxpayer-funded resources to duplicate the background check (already approved by Indiana State Police) to transfer a firearm from one concealed carry permit holder to another?

There has been no discussion of background check implementation other than going through a dealer who typically charges a fee. I currently can sell a firearm to a competitor who lives elsewhere in Indiana, and the transaction can take place when we shoot together at public matches. To require me to ship a gun to his local dealer ($20-$40) and then pay a dealer transaction fee ($20-$30) only adds cost and burden to Indiana citizens already approved for gun carry by the state.

After burdening law-abiding citizens with $40-$70 in fees, what is the net gain? This transaction is between two people who both have prior approval by the state to carry a firearm. Since both parties already have this approval, there is no criminal involvement, we’re not reducing the crime rate, nor are we keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. Society gains nothing. The only effect of duplicate background checks is charging law-abiding citizens a fee for a service that has already been rendered. If this background check proves no purpose, why enact it?

When considering such legislation, those of us who already have state approval for concealed carry should be allowed waiver from the useless duplicity. Permit holders are the folks that seek compliance with the law, not the criminals that disregard it.

— Rich Hawkins

Terre Haute

Setting things straight on prom

Did editor Max Jones just call God a bigot? (Feb. 18, 2013: “Call it religion if you want, it’s still bigotry”.)

Was God wrong for destroying Sodom and Gomorrah? God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6), and homosexuality is still an abomination to Him (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26,27). We should be glad He doesn’t deal with us and sin in such a direct way today.

It’s not clear to me whether the girls at the heart of Sullivan County’s prom controversy are gay. But, from what’s been reported in this paper, that’s not really what (most) people are up in arms about. The furor is over the apparent planning of a prom for “heterosexual” couples.

Let’s set things straight: Nobody’s being forced to attend the secondary “traditional” prom, and same-sex couples are being allowed to go to the real (i.e. school-sanctioned) prom. What’s everyone complaining about? Get a grip and grow up.

— Randy A. Piatt


Prom controversy has its lessons

Max Jones’ Feb. 18 column about preachers, religion and bigots was interesting and I will not argue your point. However, I think there is a lesson to be learned if one looks deeper into the facts. Hopefully some Christians with wisdom will indeed see this through with a better understanding and help for the teenagers instead of finger-pointing. Proverbs 6: 16-20 is a good start.

Events such as gun control and the Sullivan High School prom issue are prime examples of the war we are facing today. Most of it is based on deceit in a fight to control our minds, precisely stated about a year ago by the Joy Lady column as a “War to take our souls”.

1. The school girls were not attacked, but rather the request for the gay-lesbian names which most Christians do not like but accept and tolerate.

However, in this case the petition was an attempt to force endorsement of the actions these labels imply. Thus the rebellion to this request to endorse, support and promote was begun.

The teacher was attacked because she was standing for Bible truth. Perhaps she could have made it more clear that the point of being of no value was intended to mean that the road thus traveled down the path of thinking one gay, etc., would lead to a troubled life and should be avoided. According to reports of suicides and other situations verifies this statement to be true. Her point of it not being lawful is wishful thinking, as this world is leaving God out as the abortions being lawful is quite clear.

Having worked with troubled teens I know firsthand they are enticed or deceived in thinking one cannot be best friends with the same sex and be considered normal, so they fit in by accepting society’s labels.

They do not have a loving grandma who explains that she indeed slept with many best friends — perhaps three or four to a bed — and when she got married many of them were her bridesmaids. Sex was not a part of what was a “gay time” back then.

2. Since we have drivers license requirements and instructions before getting behind the wheel and laws to keep track and enforce, etc., for this deadly weapon, what is the big deal about having similar requirements for gun owners?

It is not wise to have all gun-toting cowboys, as the good “cops” cannot tell which is the bad guy. Both cars and guns are forever, and so will accidents and other  deaths occur as long as man exists.

— Ruby K. Cook

Marshall, Ill

Growing weary of bigoted rants

Please explain to me the joy you get from publishing bigoted letters from the likes of Edward Kesler? Is your madness designed to instigate dialogue or do you just like to imagine that thinking men’s and women’s heads are exploding because of the drivel they have to read in the op-ed pages?

Yes, yes, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion (and you certainly do not have to agree with mine), but must you keep publishing every letter that comes down the pike which denigrates others?  

For your information, Mr. Kesler, all cultures and all religions are equal in value. To say they are not is to flaunt your ignorant racism. Our children should and must learn about other cultures whether we agree with their mores and tenets or not. One cannot live wisely in a global world without an understanding of the rich diversity of mankind.

And, by the way, it is my personal opinion that no religious organization should be allowed to distribute any of its propaganda in a public school setting. If this kind of “sharing” is to be allowed, when these folks checked in the at the school (which they did), it was incumbent on the staff at the front desk to take the materials, thank them politely and send them on their way.

— Ann Carlisle

Terre Haute